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Shad`vidha Upakrama

Dr. Maya Gokhale
M.D. (Ayurved) Panchakarma

Ayurveda believes that two types of powers, rule the universe, namely Agni and soma. Agni is the converting power whereas soma is adding to life. Etiology of diseases is also of two types and so also their curing methods. Ayurvedamanagement modalities are based on the same principle. 1. Apatarpan`a converting, digesting power 2 Santarpan`a adding, healing power. They are also called 1. Langhana 2. Brimhan`a or Dvividha Upakrama by Vaagbhat`aachaaryaCharakaachaarya has divided thee two into six types of treatment modalities known as Shad`avidha Upakrama. Principles of treatments of different diseases from different ancient Ayurvedatexts are based on Shad`avidha Upakrama. The basic six types of treatments:

  1. Langhana
  2. Brimhan`a
  3. Rookshan`a
  4. Snehana
  5. Svedana
  6. Stambhana

These are further divided into two sets according to the mode of action as

Set 1 Set 2
Langhana Brimhan`a
Rukshan`a Snehana
Svedana Stambhana

The functioning of these two sets is in opposition to each other. The properties of the concerned drugs are also of opposing nature.

Meanings and functionings –
Langhana this is the treatment modality by which the body becomes lighter in nature
Brinhan`a this is the treatment modality by which the body becomes heavy in nature
Rookshan`a this treatment modality dries up the body
Snehana this is treatment which oleatesthe body
Svedana this is the treatment in which sudation (warming) of the body is done
Stambhana treatment by cool, movements and different body secretions are restricted

The Langhan or Brimhan`a drugs show specific properties contributed by different Mahaabhoota.

Properties and results of their actions

Langhana drugs these are light, digesting, dry, and hot in nature. Contributed by AgniVaayuAakaas`ha Mahaabhoota. These drugs regulate bowel and urination; patients feel light, fresh, loss of feeling of heaviness in heart and body; timely sensations of hunger and thirst. They regulate the metabolic activities, stimulate VaataPitta and control excess KaphaLanghana drugs reduce body weight, act on obese persons. They show mainly pungent, Kat`u tastes.

Brimhan`a drugs heavy, soft, cold, sticky, solid, and oily in nature. Contributed by Prithvi and Aapa Mahaabhoota. These drugs increase the body weight and strength, softens body channels, adds to power of immunity. Control vitiated Vaata and Pitta increase Kapha and they are mainly of a sweet taste.

Rookshan`a drugs are dry, light, rough in nature, as they belong to the Vaayu Mahaabhoota. They add to the dryness of the body, absorb excess fluid levels. They are mainly of Kat`uTiktaKashaaya taste.

Svedana drugs hot, liquefying, digestive in nature, belong mainly to the Agni Mahaabhoota. The body becomes lighter open up body pores, open body channels, fomentation improves joint movements and the sensation of feeling cold vanishes.

Snehana drugs oily, heavy, liquid, soft, sticky in nature, belong mainly to the Aapa Mahaabhoota. The body becomes soft, oily, reduces dryness, lubricates body channels and they are of a sweet taste.

Stambhana drugs cold, mild, soft, sticky, dry, rough, light in nature, belong to the VaayuPrithvi Mahaabhoota. They stop excessive oozing, control vomiting, diarrhea; bleeding and they are of Kashaaya taste.


Langhana weight loss, to strengthen digestive power, to fight disease caused by Brimhan`a like diabetes, Oedemas obesity, fever, diseases of liver, spleen, respiratory, digestive disorders etc.

Brinhan`a is weight gaining for nourishing old weak, thin patients, to strengthen body tissues, to nourish alcoholics, sports men, to nourish persons suffering from stress, disorders of sexual act.

Rookshan`a for diseases of the eyelike oedema, swelling oozing, persons suffering from profuse sweating, excess water retention and swelling, those recommended for Langhana.

Snehana different diseases of Vaata Dosha, dry skin, oligospermia, anemia in old and young age disease like dry eye, for S`hodhana purpose

Svedana – for joint pain, frozen shoulder, locking of mandibularjoint, vitiated Vaata and Kapha Dosha, waistingof muscles, hemiplegia, sciatica, body pain, flatulence, lumber pain, indigestion

Stambhana to stop vomiting, diarrhea, burns toxic effects, profuse sweating, bleeding.

Symptoms arising on excessive use of Shad`vidhopakrama are as follows:

Excess Langhana causes weight loss, body pain, weakness, excessive thirst, and vitiation of Vaata, giddiness, and mental disorders.

Excess Brimhan`a causes obesity, hypertension, and diseases like diabetes.

Excess Stambhana locking of joints, loss of cardiac rhythm, locking of joints, disturbances in different metabolic secretions

Excess Rookshan`a skin becomes dry, unnatural thirst, joint pain.

Excessive Svedana profuse sweating, thirst, weakness, burning sensation in body

Excessive Snehana develops anemia, heaviness in body, sleepiness, and indigestion.

Stambhana and Snehana are allied to Langhana treatment. Svedana and Rookshan`a are allied to Brimhan`a treatment.

Action of Brinhan`a drugs these drugs belong to Prithvi and Aapa Mahaabhoota, so our mainly of sweet, sour, salty taste. They nourish Kapha DoshaRasaRaktaMaamsaMedaAsthiMajjaaS`hukra Dhaatu. They are oily, cold, solid sticky in nature; they strengthen muscles of heart, joints, nourish mucous membrane, and increase healing capacity and immunity power of body. They add up to S`hukra Dhaatu, which is responsible for reproduction of fall types of cells and tissues.

Drugs like S`hataavareeBalaa, Vidaaree add to RasaMaamsa. Milk products and As`hvagandhaaAatmaguptaa nourish S`hukraBabulaLaakshaa nourish Asthi Dhaatu. All fats like ghee add to Majjaa. Being sweet they control Vaata and Pitta Dosha_s.

Action of Langhana drugs As these drugs belong to AgniVaayuAakaas`ha Mahaabhoota. So they are mainly of Kat`uKashaayaTikta taste. They have power of conversion and digestion. They nourish Pitta Dosha PaachakaagniDhaatvaagni. They are light, hot, and dry in nature. They digest excess fats, lipids, Meda Dhaatu. Which results in losing weight. They stimulate Vaata and Pitta resulting in proper digestion and absorption.

Drugs like Chitraka strengthens Agni and can digest Aama or indigested Rasa DhaatuTriphalaaHaridraa, digest lipids by adding to Meda Agni, which results in loss of weight. Varun`aGokshuraPunarnavaa, digest excess water levels and act on the renal system, cure Edemas. Drugs like MustaaKut`ajaNaagakes`hara absorb excess fluid levels and control diarrhea.

Shad`avidha Upakrama forms the basic seat of all treatment.

Dr. Maya Gokhale
Lectuer – Ayurved college, Akurdi (Pune),
Ayurved Consultant, Pune.

Last updated on February 19th, 2021 at 09:46 am

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